The event for sharing experiences from the Living lab of services for the elderly was organised at Laurea on Wednesday.
Co-creation and testing in fast experiments are increasingly common ways for businesses to develop new services. Living labs, or living laboratories, in which research and innovation take place in genuine real-life environments, are one way to implement co-creation. Co-operation involves companies, cities and municipalities, research institutes and higher education institutions, and consumers and ordinary people.
Living labs, co-creation and user-oriented experiments were the topic of discussion in the event organised on Wednesday, 25 January to share experiences from Uskalla kokeilla (‘Dare to try’), the Living lab of services for the elderly.
The event was aimed at bringing together operators interested in co-creation and experimentation, especially those with links to services for the elderly. At the same time, experiences and good practices from different experimentation projects were shared.
Examples from across Finland
Participants heard views on co-creation and experimenting through four examples. Sanna Hartman, Business Development Adviser of the City of Helsinki, gave the first presentation introducing the development cooperation between the Department of Social Services and Health Care of the City of Helsinki and businesses. One of the Living lab environments in Helsinki is the new Kalasatama area, in which Laurea has also been engaged by organising co-creation workshops (read more about Kalasatama from Laurea’s Forerunner Magazine issue 1/2016).
In her introduction, Hartman stressed that, as regards business co-operation, particularly the development perspective is important in the city’s development activities and experimentation platforms:
- Product development is not a short cut for businesses to acquiring things, she stressed.
Benefits of Living lab activity
Another example of development activities in living laboratories came from Satakunta, where the business development company Prizztech has implemented Living lab activities since 2009. In the field of services for the elderly, development is carried out for instance in the HYVÄKSI project, which develops well-being technology for promoting daily well-being and functional ability.
- First of all, through Living lab activities, companies benefit from the expertise and development proposals of specialists and users. The participating testing environments, in turn, gain user experiences from new innovations, for example, to support procurement decisions. And thirdly, users can have a say in the design of products developed for them, said Niina Holappa, the project manager of HYVÄKSI from Prizztech, listing advantages.
The third active Living lab operator in Finland is OuluHealth Labs, whose operation was introduced in the event by Technology Specialist Jaana Kokko. The Northern Ostrobothnia Hospital District, the City of Oulu and Oulu University of Applied Sciences participate in the operation of OuluHealth Labs.
After the case examples, Wednesday’s event continued in a workshop, in which the participants generated ideas for learning and sharing.
The workshop was organized by Forum Virium Helsinki´s Nordic Business and Living Lab Alliance project, the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities and Laurea UAS.